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Archive for the ‘Church History’ Category

The oldest of the churches is the Zoar Free Lutheran.  It was organized in 1902 but even before that time, services were held in various homes.  Records show that a Christmas Festival was held in the Carroll Hotel, which included the entire community.  A collection was taken amounting to $34 and presented to the serving pastor, J.O. Arvig.  This first church was erected on lots now owned by Ron Sager.  It was moved closer in when lots were purchased from Joe Schonauer.  The house on the lots were moved to the Alfred Olson farm southeast of Hampden.

Pastors serving during the years have been J.O. Arvig, 1902; N. Harveland, 1903; Ludvig Pederson, 1901; G. Nordberg, 1910; L. Laurhammer, 1915; George Larson, 1925; J. Hjelmeland, 1927; Morris Eggen, 1930; Sigurd Berg, 1938; L. Rasmussen, 1944; H. Tollefson, 1950; G. Amundson, 1957; Lay-pastor Quanrud; Roger Strom; Pastor H. Kjos, 1967; Hubert DeBoer, 1973; Ray Larson, (deceased August 1974); Kenneth Heppner, 1974; Wesley Langaas, 1975 to present [1979].

The Presbyterians held services in a hall built by Arthur Elliott.  A few terms of school were held in the building, too, with Mary Goldsbury (mother of Tom O’Brien and Eva Johnson).  The hall was rebuilt and purchased by the Methodist church which was organized with Rex Nesbet as minister, J.F. Loehre, president; A.C. Davis, secretary.  The last remodeling of the church was in 1974, and church conducted for the first time in February.

Pastors serving have been W.E. Dudley; T.S. Brown; A.L. Pardee (Mrs. Pardee passed away while they lived in Hampden), 1914; H.F. Midrif, 1917; Joseph Chester, 1918; G. Bateman, 1919; G.N. Harvey, 1920;C.T. Ensign, 1920; D.M. Lower, 1922; W. Dodge, 1923; A.H. Gamble, 1924; J.R. Wenrich, 1925; Frank Rumor, 1930; F. Forster, 1935; Chas. Kepler, 1935; George Muzzey, 1948; W.E. McCod, 1949; R.E. Ritter, 1950; Virgil Holmes, 1954; W.J. Hutlet, 1962; Donald Goold, 1967; Francis Kinzler, 1974 to present [1979].

The newest of the churches is the Faith Lutheran of the American Lutheran Church.  In 1963 a group of people from the Hampden and Alsen community organized an American Lutheran Church.  Pastor Ray Klug from Edmore served them and services were held in the American Legion Hall.  Faith Church was erected and opened for worship in 1964.  Several lay-pastors and interim-pastors assisted with the ministry and are listed as Pastor Osmond, Park River Bible Camp; John Neilson, student; John Baxter, Edmore; John Isum, Nekoma; Re. Winther; M.J. Neilson, Rugby; Omar, residen pastor.  Also Dennis Nelson, Obed; Chas. Plaster, resident; Elmer Sundlie; Jack Koch, resident.

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from Ramsey County History: vol 2, p 598; published 1983 (submitted to book by Delores Johnson)

The Faith American Lutheran Church was organized May 31, 1964 at a meeting held in the American Legion Hall in Hampden, with Dr. Loyoal E. Tallakson, A.L.C. and Eastern North Dakota District president in attendance.

Rev. Raymond Klug of Edmore was the first pastor to serve this church.  Services were held in the Legion Hall from May 31, 1964 to November 14, 1965, when the church though not complete was then used.

The first church council consisted of: Frithjob Lunde, Ordale Morstad, Robert Iverson, Kenneth Iverson, Kenneth Simon, and Arnold Lindseth.  Mrs. Winston Johson was secretary of the congregation.  There were 33 charter member families.  Faith Lutheran church was received as a member A.L.C. congregation May 4, 1965 at the Jamestown convention of the Eastern North Dakota District.  Faith was accepted as a part of the Nekoma Lutheran Parish.  In 1966 this congregation joined with Sarles, North Dakota to become a parish.  There are 189 members in 1982.

The following pastors and students have served Faith Lutheran congregation since its organization:  Rebv. Raymond Klug, Lowell Anderson, Gaius Ausland, Tom Nielson, Rev. M.P. Isum, Rev. Jack Koch, Rev. M.T. Nielson, Rev. Omar Nelson, Rev. Dennis Nelson, Rev. Charles Plaster, Rev. Brett Reedy, Rev. David Larson.

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from Ramsey County History: vol 2, p 598-99; published 1983

Church records of Zoar Free Lutheran church show that the congregation was organized in April 1902.  However, several years prior to that date, services were held in pioneers’ homes that were scattered out over the prairies.

The first Christmas program was held in the Lars Dahl sod house, which was a very large house for one of that type.  The next year the Christmas festival was held in the Mrs. Carroll hotel with a large crowd in attendance.  The Christmas offering of $34.75 was presented to the pastor.  It was Pastor J.O. Arvig who served these pioneer people.  He had bee a pastor at Adrian, Minnesota, when he felt the urge to pioneer with the word of God to the wilds of North Dakota.

In 1899, although these people were not organized into a regular congregation, the usual ministerial services were conducted.  In 1902 a group of people decided to organize their own congregation, call their own pastor whom it was decided should be from the Lutheran Free Church.  A constitution was drawn up and the following officers elected: president, Iver Iverson; secretary, Martin Marinson; treasurer, Tobias Bjorland; trustees: Farlo Olson, Lars Dahl and Tobias Bjorland; deacons: Mr. and Mrs. Iver Iverson and Dioren Iverson.  There were three people confirmed and one wedding held in 1902.

In the fall of 1903 the congregation vetured forth on a building project.  The railroad had not arrived at Hampden at this time so all the church lumber was hauled by team from Edmore.  A plot of land was given by Mr. Stoltz, who owned the town site.  Carpenters were hired although men of the congregation did much of the work of constructing the church building.  Many town people, although not members of the congregation donated both money and material.  The total bill for the new church including labor, hardware, lumber, insurance and altar furniture, was $2,537.67, although the bill was not paid in full until 1906.

In 1940 the church was moved to its present location and remodeled.  Colored windows were placed and pews were installed.  Since that year there have been various remodelings done.

The Zoar Free Lutheran congregation has grown.  Its various organizations have been active and prospered throughout the years under the leadership of its pastors.  Pastors serving this congregation are: J.O. Arvig 1902; N.L. Harveland 1903-1909; Ludwig Peterson 1909-1910; G.D. Norberg 1910-1914;P.O. Laurhammer 1915-1925; George Larson 1925-1926; John Hjelmeland 1927-1929; Morris Eggen 1930-1937; Sigurd Berg 1938-1943; Lawrence Rasmussen 1944-1950; H.J. Tollefson 1950-1957; George Amundson 1957-1964; Intern Roy Quanrud 1965; Intern Roger Strom 1966; Howard Kjos 1967-1972; Hubert DeBoer 1973; Raymond Larson January 1974-August 1974; Kenneth Heppner 1974-1975; Welsey Langacs 1975-1980; Ragene Hodnefield 1981-1982.

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from Ramsey County History: vol 2, p 598; published 1983

The Presbyterians held services in a hall built by Arthur Elliott.  A few terms of school were held in the building, too, with Mary Goldsbury (mother of Tom O’Brien and Eva Johnson) as the teacher.  The hall was rebuilt and purchased by Methodist Church which was organized with Rev. Nesbet as minister; J.F. Loehre, President; A.C. Davis, Secretary.  The last remodeling of the church was in 1974 and church was conducted for the first time in February.

Pastors serving have been:  W.E. Dudley; T.S. Brown; A.L. Pardee 1914; H.F. Midrif, 1917; Joseph Chester 1918; G. Bateman 1919; G.N. Harvey 1920; C.T. Ensign 1920; M.D. Lower 1922; W. Dodge 1923; A.L. Gamble 1924; J.R. Wenrich 1925; Frank Rumer 1930; F. Forster 1935; Charles Kepler 1935; George Muzzey 1948; W.E. McCod 1949; R.E. Ritter 1950; Virgil Holmes 1954; W.J. Huntley 1962; Donald Goold 1967; Frances Kinzler 1974; J. Sue Kana 1979.

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from Ramsey County History: vol 2, p 599; published 1983
(submitted by Pearl Aanstad, Secretary)

We regret there are no early records of this worthy organization, an arm of the Zoar Free Lutheran Church.  In writing the history in 1952 the Ackre sisters (Ida and Annie) remember the day the Aid was organized.  Several ladies came to visit their sick mother, Mrs. Elling Ackre, one day in July 1902.  They had come from church services at the Carl Olson Home located across the road from the A.S. Flott Farm.  To us in 1982 known as the Arthur (Bud) Johnson farm.

Those present to organize the “Kvindeforening” were Mrs. Soren Iverson, Sr., Mrs. Hans Thompson, Mrs. Martin Mortenson; Mrs. Iver Iverson, Sr and Mrs. Carl Olson.  Mrs. Iver Iverson was elected President.  They felt she know something about the work because she had spent some time in the Arvig parsonage in Adrian, Minnesota.  Mrs. Iverson was an efficient worker and a very hospitable person.

In 1909, Mrs. Hans Boe supervised a supper.  The proceeds were used to purchase lamps for the church.  All members worked hard and took their turns in serving.  We note by old pictures that at times the entire family met.

Many and varied projects have been the aims of the Aid.  They have contributed to the quotas of the Church Schools, Missions and local church work.  Almost every church project received assistance from the Aid.

In 1940 the Church was moved from the north west part of town to the present location one block south of main street.  At that time Pews were purchased.  Aid money has purchased paneling, carpeting and much remodeling.  Though these material things are very necessary, the spiritual aspects surpass all.  They give above the required quota for the National headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Foreign and Home Missions; the Theological Seminary; Bible School and Women’s Missionary Federation.

The Ladies Aid has met regularly the first Wednesday of each month, with few exceptions, for at least 60 years.

(The work has not always been easy but there has been a spirit of harmony and good will.)

Almost all of the women of the congregation have taken their turn in serving in one office or another.

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